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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Book Trailers

   
Author Topic: Book Trailers
Denevius
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This is something we haven't discussed on Hatrack before (and if there's already a thread on the subject, sorry). But I have a two part question.

The first: Have book trailers been proven to be an effective way to market books?

A guy I did my MFA with self-published his book, and produced a trailer for it on Amazon. I haven't watched it, and I guess this goes into how effective I think they are. As a reader, I'm going to buy a book based on the words and the story the descriptions promises to create in my head. Movie trailers are notorious for making a movie look awesome, even if it's awful. How often do people say that the trailer is the best part of the movie? Sometimes they'll be stuff in previews that's not even in the movie itself.

But the question of book trailers is, what are they trying to sell? Obviously not the writing. The story? Can we trust the trailer, made specifically to sell a product whether it's good or not, to be honest with the story?

My second question is, are writers shooting themselves in the foot? Already, it's hard enough to get readers to buy even published books. Most people would just prefer to wait until a popular book is made into a movie. The odds aren't actually all that bad, Hollywood is turning every popular book into movies nowadays.

So, what do you guys think? Successful marketing or not? Destructive to the already fragile written word or not?

And this last question just came to mind: are book trailers really being targeted to Hollywood, and not actually to readers? Is this publishers' way of getting film makers to see what a book *could* look like on the big screen?

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Grumpy old guy
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I have a hard enough time writing a good story without having to think about learning 3D animation and writing a screenplay as well. I have all the software, including a full version of AVID; I just don't have the time or inclination.

Phil.

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MAP
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I've seen very few book trailers that I like. I've never seen one that has inspired me to buy the book. From the little I've read about book trailers as marketing tools, they don't really help, but they don't hurt either.

Hope that helps.

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Meredith
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I think it depends on the genre. I've heard that they're helpful with YA.
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extrinsic
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Book trailer, yet another steep learning curve skill set to plague ambitious writers with distractions.

I appreciate a book trailer's value as an advertisement. I do have the skills and technology hardware and software to do them. What I don't have is an incentive to add yet more complexity and "film" overlaps to written word art.

I can appreciate that a book trailer is a thirty-second to two-minute commercial that may attract a one-percent impulse buyer fraction of an audience--if the trailer is especially appealing and production values suit the product, folk art appeals notwithstanding.

[ June 19, 2014, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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